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LICENSED OFFICERS OF VESSELS.

JANUARY 16, 1907.—Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be printed.

Mr. GROSVENOR, from the Committee on the Merchant Marine and

Fisheries, submitted the following

REPORT.

[To accompany S. 6898.)

The Committee on the Merchant Marine and Fisheries, having considered the above-described bill, report the same back and recontmend its passage without amendment. The committee adopts the Senate report on the same bill by the Senate Committee on Commerce, as follows:

(Senate Report No. 4817, Fifty-ninth Congress, second session.) The Committee on Commerce, to whom was referred the bill (S. 6898) concerning licensed officers of vessels, having considered the same report thereon with a recommendation that it pass without amendment.

The present bill is identical in terms with one which passed both Houses late in the last session and was presented to the President on the last day but one of that session. It failed to receive the approval of the President, and not having been returned to Congress with the reasons for such failure of Executive action the only course open to secure the enactment of the measure is by its reintroduction and second passage.

Written and oral evidence before the committee shows that frequent and costly delays are suffered by vessels of the class affected by reason of the desertion of mates at ports where licensed mates are unobtainable, although competent men of ample experience may be available. It is found that many such men refuse to submit to examination for license, finding sufficient employment on smaller vessels, where they are not required to have a license. Under the law of 1898 it is no longer possible to compel crews to continue on vessels until the expiration of the terms for which they hare shipped, and owners of this class of vessels have no way to protect themselves against liability to fines when their mates desert at ports where licensed substitutes are unobtainable, except by lying in port until one can be procured from a distance.

In the case of masters little difficulty of this kind occurs, as they almost invariably stay by the vessel, and the bill does not contemplate an abolition of the fines for the employment of unlicensed masters. Therefore such a vessel will always have at least one licensed navigator. And as the owners and underwriters have the greatest possible interest in the safety of their property it is not believed that the relief granted by this measure will work any disadvantage in that respect.

No evidence of any benefit arising from the licensing of mates on these vessels has been presented, but from the evidence submitted it appears that the requirement works at times unnecessary hardship and expense.

(Second indorsement.)

WAR DEPARTMENT,
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS,

Washington, January 9, 1907. Respectfully returned to the Secretary of War.

The object of the accompanying bill, H. R. 23383, Fifty-ninth Congress, second session, is to extend the time for commencing and completing the bridge authorized by the act of Congress approved June 25, 1906, to be built across Mississippi River at St. Louis, Mo.

So far as the interests of navigation are concerned, I know of no objection to the favorable consideration of the bilĩ by Congress.

A. MACKENZIE
Brig. Gen., Chief of Engineers, U. S. Army.

[Third indorsement.]

War DEPARTMENT, January 10, 1907. Respectfully returned to the chairman Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, House of Representatives, inviting attention to the foregoing report of the Chief of Engineers, United States Army.

ROBERT Shaw OLIVER,

Assistant Secretary of War. O

2d Session.

No. 6700.

FURNISHING CANNON TO THE STATE OF SOUTH

DAKOTA.

JANUARY 15, 1907.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state

of the Union and ordered to be printed.

Mr. Kahn, from the Committee on Military Affairs, submitted the

following

REPORT.

[To accompany S. R. 80.)

The Committee on Military Affairs, to whom was referred the resolution (S. R. 80) authorizing the Secretary of War to furnish two 3-inch wrought-iron muzzle-loading cannon, with their carriages, limbers, and accessories, to the State of South Dakota, report the same back to the House with the recommendation that said resolution be amended as follows:

Strike out all after the word Provided," in line 8, and insert in lieu thereof the following: “That no expense shall be incurred by the United States in the delivery of said cannon, carriages, and accessories," and that as so amended the resolution do pass.

The Senate report is hereto annexed and made a part of this report.

(Senate Report No. 4819, Fifty-ninth Congress, second session.] The Committee on Military Affairs, which has had under consideration the joint resolution (S. R. 80) authorizing the Secretary of War to furnish two 3-inch wroughtiron muzzle-loading cannon, with their carriages, limbers, and accessories, to the State of South Dakota, begs leave to report the resolution back to the Senate favor. ably, recommending that it be passed.

Your committee's favorable action is sustained by the following official indorsements of the War Department, in which the Acting Chief of Ordnance, United States Army, states that the value of the material mentioned in the resolution, when new, was about $1,650, but that it is now out of date and would be valueless to the War Department except for sale as obsolete ordnance.

(First indorsement.)
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ORDNANCE,

Washington, December 27, 1906. Respectfully returned to the honorable the Secretary of War.

The 3-inch wrought-iron guns, etc., referred to within were issued to the State of South Dakota under the law for arming and equipping the militia. The value of this material, when new, was about $1,650, but as it is out of date the Department would have no use for it except for sale as obsolete property.

A. H. RUSSELL,
Lieutenant-Colonel, Ordnance Department, U. S. Army,

Ading Chief of Ordnance. (Second indorsement.)

WAR DEPARTMENT,

December 27, 1906. Respectfully returned to the chairman Committee on Military Affairs, United States Senate, inviting attention to the foregoing report of the Acting Chief of Ordnance, United States Army.

ROBERT SHAW OLIVER,

Assistant Secretary of War.

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OBSOLETE CANNON FOR UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO.

JANUARY 15, 1907.-Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state

of the Union and ordered to be printed.

Mr. Kahn, from the Committee on Military Affairs, submitted the

following

REPORT.

[To accompany H. K. 15437.]

The Committee on Military Affairs, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 15437) providing for the donation of condemned cannon to the University of Idaho, report the same back to the House with the recommendation that the bill be amended as follows:

Amend the title so as to read: “A bill providing for the donation of obsolete cannon to the University of Idaho.”

Strike out of line 4 the words “turn over" and insert in lieu thereof the word “deliver."

Strike out of line 5 the word "condemned” and insert in lieu thereof the word "obsolete."

Insert after the word “cannon," in line 5, the words “ with the carriages and equipments.”

Insert after the word “University,” in line 7, the words: Provided, That no expense shall be incurred by the United States in the delivery of said cannon.

As so amended your committee recommend that the bill do pass. The report from the War Department is as follows:

[First indorsement.1
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF ORDNANCE,

Washington, March 20, 1906. Respectfully returned to the Secretary of War.

There are now at the University of Idaho two 3-inch wrought-iron cannon, with their carriages and appropriate equipment. The university has been instructed to ship these guns and carriages to Benicia Arsenal, and the Department has in view the issue of 3.2-inch breech-loading rifles, with their carriage and equipments to replace the same, on filing of the bond required by law.

The guns and carriages now at the university, while they have not been condemned, are obsolete, and have no value except as old material or junk; and in order that the

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